Goal: Activate, beautify and engage with the built environment to return a sense of pride and belonging to an underutilised park and tired main street.

The Edithvale Collective is a dedicated group of traders and community members who share a love for their beachside town. Located in the outer south-east bayside of Melbourne, Edithvale had once boasted a vibrant shopping strip with thriving local reserve, yet in 2017, it was lacking a central place for connection, and had become run-down and vacant - bypassed by residents and visitors alike.

"[It's helped] meeting more locals, gaining the confidence to attempt projects like this, a sense of pride at what we've accomplished, and the strong friendshop I've made with the other members of the group" - Edithvale Collective

Jono and Jessie are two local traders who remember a flourishing Edithvale from their childhood. Seeing the disconnect between people and place, and feeling the impact on their local business’ bottom line, they applied for The Neighbourhood Project and set about activating the built environment.

Empowered by the program, the pair recruited their customers and neighbours in order to pool their skills and kick-start momentum for revitalisation.

What started as a team of two, quickly grew to an organisation of eleven; eventually engaging over 700 people across a series of events, including a Morning Tea pop-up, Mural Art installation, Street Greening initiatives, and then a Pop-Up Park trial.

In their pursuit to generate ideas, engage with council, and highlight community-specific needs, the group uncovered significant place barriers that were both functional (disability access, signage, seating, bike parking, reasons to gather), as well as beautifying (plain space, vacant shops, empty garden boxes).

As a result, they set about targeted and effective initiatives: designing, up-cycling, building, painting and planting a colourful new identity for Edithvale main street and reserve - to rave reviews from their fellow locals! 90% of locals who visited the site reported an increase in neighbourhood pride, and local business saw a boost of 15% in visits to their stores.

Community members contributed more than 4,000 collective hours to the project. Unskilled labour is typically valued at $25 per hour in Victoria. This represents over $100,000 of collective value unlocked to improve the suburb for the benefit of fellow community members. Edithvale is a great example of a neighbourhood built by neighbours.

With two major infrastructure works - a Level Crossing Removal and updated Surf Life Saving club - well underway, and new families pouring into the area, the time is ripe for people to be put front and centre of placemaking initiatives; Kingston City Council agrees. They themselves have been enabled by this process, and thanks to the success of the Edithvale Collective, they are now applying the model across all five Level Crossing Removal sites in their council area.

Key Stats

  • 700 people attended the mini events and pop-up launch with a 90% increase in neighbourhood pride
  • Local economy saw a 15% increase in visits to the shopping strip
  • Council reviewed their community grants program to include placemaking opportunities
  • Council staff reported much stronger connection between different department’s deliverables since the project

mural painting edithvale

passionate locals in edithvale